Sunday, March 04, 2012

Weeks 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10

February was a tough month.  Right after starting school Nathan got sick and stayed sick forever.  The children even had a week long break and poor child got better and then worse before the week was over.  So in light of the difficult February, I am going to look back a try to highlight the ups in the month.

Week 6 - Thankful for space heaters to help warm up cold rooms and keep little sick ones warmer in a very cold Victorian house.  Thankful also for said Victorian house, which though cold is a wonderful place to live.

Week 7 - Thankful to have found a wonderful hair salon and hair stylist.  Looking good again.

Week 8 - Thankful for England's idea of long breaks.  The school year is three terms.  Each term has a half term break that is a week long.  We were mostly sick during the break, in fact at the start of break I had 3 that were too sick to leave the house.  But Jay took off the afternoons and managed to help the children, who were well enough, to enjoy their break.  No big exciting trips during this break, but very restful week.  We did as a family go to the theatre a couple of blocks away to see the play Annie.  Thankful to live in a place that is so easy to enjoy the Arts.

Week 9 - Thankful for great friends here in England.  We celebrated Fat Tuesday with local Navy friends.  The Navy here in Portsmouth is like an extended family.  Even when we can't get together we know that someone is there supporting us.  It is always wonderful to get together.

Week 10 - Thankful for Heath and Normalcy.  Jay will be traveling for work during the upcoming weeks.  Thankfully the children are all well.  Last week Nathan went to school well for the entire week.  Finally!  We have figured out our insurance and if we need to, can now go to the doctor.  That's a relief.  With Jay traveling we really notice his absence.  We recognize that life doesn't run picture perfect without him around and we don't live up to our best without him here, but we do know how to do this crazy life of transient dad and are so grateful when he come home.  

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Gratitude Weekly Week 5 - Shore tours

England is a shore tour for Jay, which means not attached to a ship.  Not attached to a ship means, not going in and out and in and out and in and out.  It means not being away from home port 50-60% of the time.  It means not working 85-120 hours a week.  It means family dinner more often than not.  It means time to get in PT.  It means being a part of school activities, church activities and family activities.  It means coming home when the children are awake and having time to interact with them for extended periods of time before bedtime.

We have managed pretty darn well during the last 5 years of deployment, and sea tour time.  I thought we had a decent system worked out.  Since being in England however I have come to see just what a half life we have been having.  We do the best with what we have, but having Jay home is so much better.

Jay being bonged off the USS WASP barely 24 hours before boarding flight to England.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gratitude Weekly Week 4 - The Homeschool Opportunity

Today Nathan and Sarah start at a new school.  We have been doing the homeschool thing this year, but just before Christmas we decided that Nathan needed to go back to traditional school.  He was doing great academically, but really needed to improve socially.  I just couldn't give him them opportunities to be part of a group here.  He is very resistant to going to school, but we believe it to be in his best interest.  While checking out the school that Nathan was placed in, Sarah decided that she really wanted to go to school as well.  After much deliberation both of the young ones will be going to school.
I am trying to be upbeat about it, but I think I am failing miserably.  It has been so enjoyable teaching them at home.  Sarah's schooling was very difficult, but I felt that we grew closer as we struggled through it.  Nathan's schooling was delightful.  There is nothing like learning something and getting a hug and a kiss from mom for doing well.  Both of us were so happy every time he learned something new.
I am so very thankful that we did the homeschool thing, even if only for a little while.  I love the resources we now have in our home as well.  Just because they go off to the big school tomorrow doesn't mean we stop learning at home.  This opportunity, just taught us that we can learn at home and have the tools to do so.

PS  Now I may be able to do a little shopping, don't tell Jay.  :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Gratitude Weekly - Week 3 - Warmth

This week we had a little warm spell.  I got a little bit excited because I thought our heat was working, but really the temperature just went up 10-15 degrees here (50-54*F).  We had several days of sunshine and mild temperatures.  My feet were toasty and a few times our house got a so warm I thought we needed to crack a window.  We were able to go to the playground and play until Nathan was tired instead of playing until appendages go numb.  Now however the temperature is back down to about 40*F during the day and 34*F at night.  My feet are cold again too.  But I have cute new slippers so that helps some.

Sarah's First Horse Ride

Sarah began riding lessons this week.  Riding lessons were one of Sarah's Christmas presents.  Two years ago Sarah tried riding on a trail ride and was too nervous, but she does love horses so much she really wanted to learn to ride.  Over here in England there really seem to be many opportunities for riding so it seemed like a good time to start.
 Sarah's lessons are on a New Forest Pony named Tia.  She is 9 years old and the softest horse I have ever laid a hand on.  Her teacher is a friend of a friend named Kate.
 Sarah was still a little nervous, but Tia made her more relaxed.
 Beautiful ladies all three.

Gratitude Weekly - Week 2 Birthday Celebration

I am very blessed to have a wonderful generous husband who spoils me delightfully.  Friday a week ago was my birthday and as usual, my darling didn't disappoint.  This year to make sure that my day was special, Jay took off work and we made a family trip to Stonehenge and Bath.  
 I am sorry to admit that Stonehenge wasn't quite as impressive in person as I had imagined in my head.  The children however were completely impressed.  So much so that they listened intently to the recording and wouldn't stop listening for pictures.  Nathan's comment was those look like the rocks on the computer.  We had Stonehenge as our backdrop on the computer for months, he was so excited to find out they were the same rocks. 

Bath was a delightful discovery.  We didn't know what to expect, but Bath was beautiful and charming.  There were many cute shops and more shopping opportunities than anyone needs.  We really look forward to more trips to Bath.
 Bath Abbey

 Very cute area of town
 Roman Bath in the center of town

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gratitude Weekly - Week 1

Better late than never.  I am going to begin again with my gratitude postings.  In the month on November on Facebook I listed something I was thankful for every day in November.  I found that I was much happier and looked for things to be happy about.  Also when something bothered me I was more likely to gloss over my upset or disappointment.  I want to feel that in my life more, that is why I will be going back to my Gratitude Weekly posting.

Week 1 - I am thankful for my family, my cute little family at home.
 My parents and my siblings.

Those crazy people I married into.
 Each and everyone  of those people helped to make me who I am.  They helped me grow and learn and helped me to see what I could become.  I am extremely blessed to be a part of all these people.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

London Trip 3 - Fall Break

During the boys' fall break we also took a trip to London. I know the title of the post says London Trip 3 and there isn't a trip 2, but that is because the pictures aren't on this computer and I need to find them. Anyway, on our 3rd trip we again took the train and this time spent the night so that we could have more time to see London.  At the end of the trip we realized that you can never have enough time in London. Our lists of things we want to see and do in London grows and grows and grows.  Here are a few of the MANY pictures we took while on our trip.
Day 1 - Bus Tour
Best Seats on the Bus
Big Ben
Palace Guards 
Harrods Department Store
Tower Bridge
Tower of London
London Eye
Trafalgar Square

Southsea Castle (and Lighthouse)
One day, about 2 months into our time here in England, while sitting at the playground watching Nathan and Sarah play, I looked up and saw a lighthouse.  I was stunned because Nathan has an uncanny ability to see lighthouses everywhere and we had never seen this lighthouse before.  I called him over to me and just before I could point it out to him, Nathan yells LIGHTHOUSE!  Needless to say we planned a trip to visit the lighthouse as soon as possible.

 England has a wonderful thing called fall break that gives the children 10 days out of school in the fall, so while the boys were out on fall break we visited the lighthouse which is part of the Southsea Castle.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sarah & Nathan's 1st Day

Sarah and Nathan have school too, it is just getting off the ground a little bit more slowly. They are being home-schooled this year and before we could start school we had to have a home. We have begun on a modified schedule now, we are still waiting on some materials to be sent. This is a good thing because one of us really needs to be eased into this whole school thing.

As is only right and fitting I wanted to share pictures from their first day of school too. Nathan decided that he didn't want to go to school even if it was at home with Mommy, but Sarah makes things more fun.